Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands Shefford, SG17 5TQ
Contact: Sharon Griffin 0300 300 5066
To comment on the consultation document and agree that the document be circulated for consultation with all schools from 17 September 2018.
The Schools Forum considered a report which set out Central Bedfordshire’s proposals for schools funding for the 2019/20 financial year and the consultation process.
Points and comments included:
· It seemed likely that the transition period of two years for local authorities to move towards the Government’s National Funding Formula would be extended for a further year.
· The consultation document summarised the structure of the schools block, which has 14 factors, and has not changed from 2018/19. The major changes were to minimum funding levels for schools, the funding ‘floor’ and a gains ‘cap’14 factors.
· The local authority was keen to move towards the NFF and introduce Prior Attainment for 2019/20. However as modelling had shown considerable fluctuation in year on year funding for some schools as the AWPU needed to be reduced to afford this additional factor, it was proposed that this factor is introduced at 50% of the NFF rate (£511 for Primary and £775 for Secondary pupils) to smooth the transition.
· Schools Forum members are being advised that it is necessary to move 0.5% of next year’s budget into the High Needs Block but there is no evidence in the report to suggest this is needed. There did not appear to have been any attempt to reduce overspend and most of the projects which were either for middle or upper schools haven’t taken place despite the transfer of 0.5% from the Schools Block to the High Needs Block. The Assistant Director, Education, advised that a more detailed paper regarding this would be presented at the next meeting of the Schools Forum on the 1 October 2018.
· The report only gave one financial model rather than a range of models which makes it difficult to understand the impact of the funding changes and for members to make an informed decision.
· The report needed to include the rationale for different levels of MFG and the rational for choosing to use -1% MFG.
· The rationale for using 50% prior attainment and implications needed to be included in the consultation in order to make informed decision.
· What other figures have been considered and why had they been disregarded?
· Why had the decision been made to move closer to the National Funding Formula (NNF) on some measures but not others?
· The impact of Age-Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) being reduced further combined with the loss of lump sum funding was quite significant.
· Special schools needed to be included in the document showing the names of schools and the financial impact as they are also affected by the reduction in funding. The Assistant Director, Education explained that special schools are not affected by this consultation as they are funded from the High Needs Block.
1. that the following five financial models be produced;
· 0.5% taken out with minus 1% mfg
· minus 1% mfg with 0.5% put back in
· 0.5% put back in with zero mfg
· 0.5% taken out with zero mfg
· Prior attainment put back in as 100% rather 50%
2. that the consultation ... view the full minutes text for item 18.